Married (1) Helen V. Law June 6, 1866 in Monmouth, Warren County, Illinois
Married (2) Bess Paul
Bio in part from History of Fresno County, California 1919
Charles P. Avenell Twelve miles south of Fresno on the Hanford branch of the Santa Fe system is the new and progressive raisin packing town of Monmouth,(California), so named by its founder and leading citizen, Charles P. Avenell, in honor of his native town, Monmouth, ILlinois. On his well improved and productive farm of 320 acres known as the Willow Lake Ranch, enjoying all the comforts incident to a modern California country home Mr and Mrs. Avenell, who was formerly Miss Bess Paul, and daughter Alene, are living happily, among their friends and neighbors in what is rapidly becoming one of Fresno County's best raisin districts. When Mr. Avenell first came to this place in 1903 there were only four persons who had vineyards or orchards. It was then mainly a cattle country, the water and grass being very good. The four who had ventured to plant vines and trees here before 1903 were: J.S. Paul; C.N. Rasmussen; F.L. Bennetts and C.T. Ward. The Santa Fe railway had been built through, but there was no station house and no switch, here, at the time. Monmouth now has a large brick raisin packing plant belonging to the California Associated Raisin Company at this point, and is now (October 1919) engaged in packing a $2,000,000 crop of raisins, which in point of quality, particularly sweetness, are pronounced the best of any received at any of the receiving points of said company. As a matter of historical interest it is well to review a few events in the progress of this growing town: The circumstance which brought Mr. Avenell here in 1903, was primarily the drouth of that year. As will appear further on this review Mr. Avenell, had been an extensive cattle raiser, feeder and dealer back in Illinois. His son, R.L. Avenell, who now resides at Monmouth, California, had come out from Illinois to semi-tropic, Kern County, California, earlier in the year 1903, with 221 head of high grade short-horn heifers. The pastures in Kern County gave out and our subject started out in quest of a place where water and feed could be obtained. On viewing the land comprising the present Willow Lake Ranch his expierenced eye told him that this was the spot where he could keep his cattle alive, and finding the land for sale, he bought it and moved the cattle up immediately, in the fall of 1903. He soon made the acquaintance of his neighbors and together they planned to have a switch built and a station established. Mr. Avenell bought an additional plot of fifty-five acres where station now is located, in the fall of 1904. During the same year, 1904, built the commodious bungalow living house and assisted by his son, planted the grove of eucalyptus trees, (now almost forest trees) and proceeded with one improvement after another, and with the help of neighbors succeeded in having the station established and the switch put in at Monmouth, in 1906.